Hi folks- I never get involved with political and "pushing your agenda type" conversations. I love the bluegrass genera, as do many in our association, and love to play bluegrass and engage in our beloved bluegrass camaraderie. However, as an Area VP for the Bakersfield area and chair of our annual Great 48-hour jam, I feel compelled to respond to the board's decision to allow our CBA presence at the San Francisco Gay Pride Parade. I have read through the responses logged on the message board and found that most folks are using the angle that this involvement is "legal" regarding the interpretation of our mission, the tax exempt status, and the event provides the means of reaching out to diversity by attracting thousands of folks which will theoretically raise membership and keep our music alive ---- I get all that and have no problem with this reasoning.
I have never attended the San Francisco Gay Pride Parade, so I decided to investigate the event. In reading about the event online, I learned the event emphasizes diversity and free expression of a particular life style. Again, I get that and agree! But then, I typed in San Francisco Gay Pride Parade into Google images, and I was shocked what the photos revealed, a freedom of expression gone to extreme without the restraint of common decency. All you have to do to get a sense of what I am referring to is to head to Google images yourself, and you will see multiple pictures of individuals on floats, many scantly clad, in some cases nearly naked, so as to emphasize their genitalia and some posing in sexual positions. Basically, the event is thrusting the agenda of one's group's sexual preferences onto the rest of society in as brazen and vulgar a way as possible. I wouldn't condone this type of behavior for any organization, including heterosexuals. At the vary least, the way the homosexual community is conveying their message is in poor taste. On a more serious note in regard to our beloved bluegrass, it is in stark contrast to the longstanding, clean family values that lie at the vary heart of our music. I have always delighted in bringing my 12-year old daughter to bluegrass festivals, knowing that she wouldn't be exposed to any exhibitionist type behavior from any group, other than amazing performers exhibiting their musical prowess! The move by the CBA Board to approve CBA participation in the San Francisco Gay Pride Parade marks a deviation from our core values. Earl Scruggs and Bill Monroe would shudder in horror. We certainly welcome all folks that love bluegrass to join us, no matter what their private lifestyle may entail, but they can come in our direction and learn what has made us unique for generations. We have no business altering our beliefs and values to accommodate any outside group, weather they be LGBT, racially based, or religiously affiliated. I earnestly hope the Board will reconsider this decision while at the same time welcoming "diversity" into our ranks by encouraging all individuals to get involved in promoting our music solely for its own sake free of any other motives or competing agendas.